This house in a Northamptonshire village has been in the same family for 70 years

Looking back on almost a lifetime spent in one house in a Northamptonshire village first bought by his parents 70 years ago, Andy Johnson feels comfort.

Wednesday, 15th January 2020, 2:39 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th January 2020, 9:32 am
Andy and Karen Johnson, with three-month-old baby Phoebe, outside their house on Grafton Road, Roade, in 2000 for a Chronicle & Echo article on the 50th anniversary

"In a way, it's really nice as we've got all of these memories but you do feel a little trapped but in a good way - it pulls you in," he said.

The Johnsons are the only family in Grafton Road, Roade, to still be living in the same house since they were built in 1949.

Andy's parents Vic and Irene and big sister Linda moved in on January 16, 1950, and never left.

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(L-R) Andy, Phoebe and Karen Johnson outside their home in Roade which has been in their family for 70 years

They brought up their three children there - Linda's brother Ron was born in 1951 and Andy followed in 1967 - before Irene died in 1984 and Vic passed away in 1997.

Having moved out in 1994, Andy bought his siblings out after their father's death and came back with his wife Karen in the same year they got married - 1998.

So the 52-year-old father has only ever spent three years away from the former council house where his 20-year-old daughter Phoebe also lives.

"This is home. I don't intend to go anywhere else. We've bought the house so it's ours now," he said.

Vic and Irene Johnson outside their Roade home in 1951

"When my dad bought the house off of the council in 1980, it was for £6,000. There's a house around the corner in the same style which is selling for around £250,000.

"It's mad really to want a quarter of a million pounds for an ex-council house."

Andy said the house is 'built to last' - a stark contrast with some of the issues owners of new-build homes experience now.

Ultimately the family were always happy and never felt the need to move as they enjoyed village life.

(L-R) Siblings Andy, Linda and Ron Johnson in their garden in 1971

Andy has worked as a 'handyman' for the parish council for 12 years while his father worked at the old Pianoforte factory, which is now being turned into new homes.

To - Friendly neighbours have also helped - in fact, the family next door moved in at the same time as Vic and Irene and had a daughter who Andy is still friends with although they moved out several years ago.

She then also came back and lived there with her own family and Phoebe used to play with her son when they were little.

To - Andy said: "Our loft is packed with history. When we re-did the wallpaper we found messages on the walls from my dad in 1957, 1969 and others, which was nice to see.

Irene Johnson with baby Andy in their garden in 1968

"I couldn't bear the thought of selling the family house. Phoebe will inherit the house from us and if she is anything like us then she will probably keep it too."

(L-R) Irene, Linda and Vic Johnson outside their home in 1951